7 Tips for Choosing CPAP Masks

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    The Best CPAP Mask for You
    Sleep apnea affects as many as 22 million Americans, and many find effective treatment in the form of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Your doctor may recommend this treatment, depending on the severity of your condition. But how do you select the right CPAP mask? With so many choices on the market today, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide. But these tips can help when you shop for your new CPAP mask.

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    1. Check your insurance.
    In most cases, CPAP masks are covered by insurance companies as part of your durable medical equipment benefit. However, your insurance company may require you to use certain CPAP masks to receive coverage. Before purchasing your mask, check with your insurance company about their requirements and which types of masks are covered under your plan. For some types of masks, your insurance company may require a specific prescription from your doctor.

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    2. Decide on a style.
    There is a tremendous variety of masks, nasal “pillows,” oral appliances, and headgear designed to deliver your oxygen treatment. It’s important to try different options as you determine which is best for your lifestyle. Some companies recommend choosing two different styles — that way, if the first doesn’t work, you can switch to the second. The style you choose is a personal decision, and what works for someone else may not work for you.

  • man putting on cpap mask in bed
    3. Ensure a proper fit.
    In order for your CPAP treatment to be effective, the mask you choose must fit correctly over your mouth and/or nose. While trying on masks, be sure the masks you choose seal tightly to your face. You may also check the straps of the mask to ensure they’re not too tight or too loose. Straps that are too tight may be uncomfortable, while those that are too loose will break the seal.

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    4. Make sure it’s easy to use.
    It’s important to make sure the mask you choose is both easy to apply and easy to wear all night long. A mask that is too small or large will be hard to keep in place, and masks with several straps can take time to put on properly. Also, be sure your mask will work with your CPAP machine. The easier your mask is to use, the easier sticking to your CPAP treatment will be.

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    5. Make sure you can clean it.
    Because you’re breathing in and out of your CPAP mask all night, it’s essential to be sure your mask is easy to clean. Condensation from your breath and from humidified air from your CPAP machine can build up on the inside of your mask. This gives bacteria and other pathogens the perfect place to grow. It’s important to clean your mask regularly to prevent exposure to harmful germs.

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    6. Consider renting first.
    Some insurance companies provide coverage for CPAP machines and masks that are rented. If you have this benefit, you can rent a CPAP machine and mask for a few weeks to be sure your selection is the right choice for you. Renting gives you the option of returning any equipment that’s uncomfortable or difficult to use. Check with your insurance company to see if this benefit is covered under your plan.

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    7. Remember, you can always change masks.
    For most people, the mask they use for their CPAP treatment isn’t permanent. Depending on your insurance and your doctor’s recommendations, you may change CPAP masks every year. Even if this isn’t the case, CPAP masks aren’t designed to last forever. At some point, part of the mask will wear out and need to be replaced. This gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your CPAP mask and see if there’s a better option for you.

Choosing CPAP Masks | Sleep Apnea Treatment

About The Author

Sarah Handzel began writing professionally in 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and worked as a registered nurse in multiple specialties, including pharmaceuticals, operating room/surgery, endocrinology, and family practice. With over nine years of clinical practice experience, Sarah has worked with clients including Healthgrades, Mayo Clinic, Aha Media Group, Wolters Kluwer, and UVA Cancer Center.
  1. Sleep Apnea Information for Clinicians. American Sleep Apnea Association. https://www.sleepapnea.org/learn/sleep-apnea-information-clinicians/
  2. CPAP 101: Expert tips for getting started with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. National Sleep Foundation. https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/cpap-101-expert-tips-getting-started-continuous-positive-airway-pressure-cpap
  3. Choosing a mask. American Sleep Apnea Association. https://www.sleepapnea.org/treat/cpap-therapy/choosing-a-mask/
  4. How to Choose a CPAP Mask. American Sleep Association. https://www.sleepassociation.org/cpap/cpap-mask/choose-cpap-mask/
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Last Review Date: 2020 Sep 5
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